Have you heard of Angie Alt? I’m sure you have. If not, come and meet her now!
Angie is the super-talented woman behind the blog and Facebook page Autoimmune-Paleo, health coach, and author of the newly released cookbook and autoimmune protocol (AIP) manifesto The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook. Angie has had to walk her talk, managing three autoimmune diseases and learning how to get on with living, and enjoying, life.
Angie is incredibly generous in sharing some of her most personal experiences of living with chronic disease and, as someone with two autoimmune diseases myself, I experienced many moments of “me too!” whilst reading this book.
I also have one copy of the e-book to give away! The draw will be held on 18th Dec (a great early Christmas present for someone). All you need to do is follow me on Instagram or Facebook and say in a couple of sentences why you’d love to own this book. Simple! (Please note this competition is now finished).
So, now it’s time to meet the woman behind the book – Angie Alt!
KM: Hi Angie! I really appreciate your time today – thanks for stopping by! For those that don’t know, please give a brief rundown of what AIP is, why you decided to embrace it and what benefits it has brought to your life.
AA: Hi Kirstie, thanks so much for hosting me today! AIP, which stands for Autoimmune Protocol, is a version of the Paleo diet meant to help manage autoimmune disease through a phased elimination and reintroduction approach to foods. The foods that are eliminated and later reintroduced are foods that are stimulating to the immune system or promote inflammation in the body. I decided to embrace it because basically I was desperate, Kirstie! I was at a very low point with my autoimmune battle and I thought trying AIP could not be any worse than what I was already dealing with. It has brought so, so many benefits to my life . . . improved health, much greater happiness, enormous personal growth, and a really big, supportive community of folks like you!
🙂 Right back at you, Angie! I agree, AIP is so much harder until you find your AIP “tribe” – and what a supportive bunch they are!
The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook, is, primarily, a cook book (the clue is in the name!) but what I love about it is that you share so much about your personal experience of autoimmune disease with the reader. How difficult was it to share that information and why did you make the decision to do that?
It is always really difficult to be vulnerable, especially publicly, but I’m a huge believer in the idea that being vulnerable is how to authentically connect with others. I try to really push myself in that way. I made the decision to write so openly in the book because it might be the connection, answer, or support another AI warrior needs. AI is a lonely road and sharing so much about my path might help others feel less alone in dealing with their disease.
What are your three favourite recipes from the book?
I really love pork, Kirstie, soooo . . . Honey-Thyme Brined Pork Roast, Lemon-Rosemary Brined Pork Chops, and the Pork & Sprouts Breakfast Skillet are right up there. I also really love the Lemon Bar Ice Cream.
Ok, my mouth is watering…..
How do you balance family meal times with what is – at least in the beginning – quite a strict elimination diet?
I am very lucky, because my family has been incredibly supportive with the dietary adjustments. One thing I do is make the central part of the meal something that is AIP compliant and everyone can eat, then I offer what I call “add-ons” for my husband and daughter. For example, maybe the main meal is taco salad, but they have salsa, cheese, & tomatoes to add to their salads. I never cooked two separate meals.
Thanks for that Angie – I think this is a great tip for those with families!
As well as some gorgeous recipes and getting to know a little bit about you (what more do we need?!), what else can we expect to learn from your book?
There are some helpful charts, especially on how to ease into the elimination phase of AIP week-by-week and how to identify a food reaction by possible symptoms. I also have some thoughts about remaining balanced in your approach and how to handle “cheating.” It is much, much more than a cookbook.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting AIP but who is afraid to dive in?
I’d say, “Just start!” Ease in if necessary, but start. Don’t let perfectionism prevent you from doing what may turn out to be the most powerful thing you will ever do for your health.
Are there any downsides to following AIP and how do you deal with those?
It can be socially isolating. I think the tide is turning, but in general socializing can tough every time the question of food comes up. I really do not fret over this at all anymore, but in the past it was really tough. I suggest planning and confidence as your two most useful tools in dealing with this downside of AIP.
I absolutely agree with this one! Socially, it can be tricky, but I’ve got used to taking food with me if I’m not sure what food will be available. And yes, I found that both planning and a certain amount of confidence is required to do this, at least in the beginning!
What do you feel is the most important ingredient for AIP success?
That is a tough question, Kirstie. There are so many important ingredients. When I lead my online group-coaching program, SAD to AIP in SIX, I have members start by forming a support system of two or three people that are going to get their back during the process. I start there, because it can be almost impossible to do AIP successfully without a few supporters.
What is the most common health / food related misconception you hear that makes you want to tear your hair out?!
Oh geez! There are soooo many! It’s hard to narrow it down! I don’t get this too often anymore, ‘cause I just won’t stand for it, but it makes me pretty upset when people think Celiac disease is “not really a serious disease.” It especially upsets me if it is a doctor flippantly saying, “Just avoid gluten, not a big deal.” Celiac is a so much bigger and more serious than some realize and, as you know Kirstie, avoiding gluten in our world is very, very difficult. It is basically a 24/7 job.
Haha – yes, I hear you, Angie!
And finally, just for a bit of fun! What would people be most surprised to know about you?
Hmmm….I think a lot of folks would be surprised to know that I used to work at a sawmill. I weighed big logging trucks on huge industrial scales. I also used to be a dispatcher at a trucking company. For real! Like, “Ten-four good buddy” and all that stuff. In their own way they were each pretty cool jobs & despite being very male-dominated jobs, I worked with some very interesting characters.
I love knowing that about you! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I hope you enjoyed meeting Angie and hearing about her book as much as I did. If so, you can hop on over to her blog and Facebook page, find out more about her SAD to AIP in SIX group coaching program here and you can buy The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook here (affiliate links).
My favourite quote from the book: “it was not a diet. It was a template. Diets pressure people to follow rules. Templates promote self-discovery.”
As Angie says – “just start!” x